India is on track to become the world’s most developed country by 2030, its government said today, adding that it wants to “re-engage” with the global community by making changes in the ways we think, act and live.
“India is on the path to becoming the world and the world is on our path to India,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a news conference.
India has already made a series of major strides towards its goals, particularly in science, education, infrastructure and innovation.
The country has now become the second largest economy in the world, after the US, after China, and is expected to overtake the US as the second-largest economy in 2020, overtaking the UK, the EU and the US.
India is currently the world leader in the area of science and technology, with around 80 per cent of its GDP in the field, with the government investing in research and development, research and innovation and technology and healthcare.
Modi also unveiled a plan to overhaul the way India deals with the “black money”, a reference to money that is undeclared in Indian accounts.
The plan, which is currently being considered by the Cabinet, aims to cut the amount of undeclares of cash held by individuals and companies by 50 per cent by 2020.
Under the plan, the government will launch a pilot scheme, in which every citizen will have the right to deposit up to Rs 1,000 in their bank accounts by the end of 2020, with each account having an electronic recording device and the details of deposits and withdrawals to be made on a biometric and digital basis.
The bank account would also have a digital wallet, with which the bearer can access the funds.
According to the plan the cash deposit would be linked to the Aadhaar card and the account holder would have to provide proof of identity, including a photograph and fingerprints.
Another plan, to reduce black money by 90 per cent, will involve the establishment of a national digital identity system, a move that has been described as a “big breakthrough”.
The digital identity, the digital wallet and the bank account will be linked and the government would provide a free online service to people in the country who want to use it.
The government would also set up a new body, the National Anti-Money Laundering Authority, to provide digital wallets and digital identification cards to all Indians.
Modi said India was in the process of transforming the country into a model economy that would “not just be a manufacturing base but also a market hub for the world”.